GIVING BACK: Griffin family delivers Thanksgiving meals

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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When Cornelius Griffin decided to take an early retirement from the National Football League in 2009, he was closing the chapter on his boyhood dream.

At age 33, Griffin could have retired to the big city bright lights or to a sun-soak island. Instead, he chose to come home to Brundidge, Alabama to family, to friends and to the community that had embraced him when his dream seemed only a boy’s hope.

Griffin came home to the quiet life of Pike County, which he preferred after the hustle and bustle life of cheering crowds, endless traffic and deafening noise.

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But even before he came home, Griffin was thinking of the people there. So, 18 years ago, he teamed up with his mom, Martha Griffin, to host Thanksgiving dinner for those in and around his hometown who would appreciate being remembered at that time of year.

On Tuesday, Griffin and his mom, once again coordinated Thanksgiving dinner for the elderly, the sick, the shut-ins and those in need, more than 400 in all.

And, as always, it took a village to prepared the “from scratch” Thanksgiving dinner.

Martha Griffin and Griffin’s wife, Kimberly, coordinated the dinner and they enlisted some of the very best cooks around to prepare the turkeys and the trimmings – dressing, turnips, collards, potato salad, sweet potato soufflé, green bean casserole and fried cornbread.

Griffin gave the credit for the Thanksgiving dinner to the ladies in the kitchen.

“I just get the turkey,” he said, with a smile. “Today is Thanksgiving for me,” he said. “I look forward to it every year. Today is why I came home.”

Martha Griffin said some of the cooks stayed up all night, cooking and baking.

“We appreciate all of the ladies who give of their time to the Thanksgiving dinner and then turn around and cook again for their families,” Griffin said. “And, to all of the volunteers who come serve and work in the kitchen.

The Griffins also expressed appreciation to the Brundidge Rotary Club members who volunteer to delivered the meals.